Looking to upgrade your running routine? We asked a selection of runners, from amateurs to athletes, to reveal their secrets…
Whether you’re prepping for the London Marathon in October or you’re only just starting to pound the pavements, it always pays to put some proper thought into your training plan.
While it’s perfectly possible to just… start running, you’ll find progress a lot easier to come by if you plot out a regime that’s tailored to your specific requirements.
From how hard you push yourself to the music you listen to, there are a whole host of variables to be optimised to make sure you get the most out of your next run.
With that in mind we asked five female runners of varying standards to reveal the best advice they’ve ever received, to help you make the most of your training…
1. Don’t try to do too much too soon
“A training schedule should always relate to your current level of fitness and conditioning.
“After a promising start to my senior career, I tried to improve too quickly, adding in higher mileage too soon. This resulted in a very long time off injured.
“Start by building up the important workouts first, like intervals, then slowly introduce other components over time.
“Always listen to your body and modify your schedule when necessary, too.”
Jo Pavey, five-time Olympian and Saucony UK ambassador
2. Wear the right tech
“I’ve found that it’s much easier to keep up my training routine when I’m able to properly monitor my progress.
“I’ve been wearing the TAG Heuer Connected smartwatch to try and keep better track of my movement, and it’s made such a difference to my motivation levels.
“The watch itself lets me see a whole bunch of metrics at a glance, like step-count, exercise intensity, real-time and continuous heart rate monitoring and calories burned, and then I use the Wellness app to see how those stats are evolving over time.
“Sometimes when you’re training, you can’t really perceive how your performance is changing, but now I’m able to track my progress, it’s much easier to stay focused and motivated.
“I’m training for a marathon right now, so motivation is massive for me.
“Plus, with its interchangeable straps and watch faces, I can wear it and look smart to a meeting one minute, and then head out for a run with it the next.”
Kayla, amateur runner
3. Find a high-BPM playlist
“I always feel like it’s easier to run when I’m listening to a song that matches my pace.
“Basically, you want to work out your steps-per-minute and find songs that play at a similar number of beats-per-minute.
“I’m quite a fast runner, so I listen to a lot of 180 BPM stuff – there are loads of 180 BPM playlists on Spotify, so it’s easy to find enough music to see me through my run.
“Your brain is naturally inclined to try and match your steps to a beat, so if you want to speed up your run, try running to a high-BPM track and see what happens…”
Amy, training for a triathlon
4. Do other workouts too
“Varying my workout routine beyond just running has actually made a massive difference to my performance in general.
“Strength training has been a big one for me – obviously it strengthens muscles and joints, which is good for staying injury-free, but it has made me faster too.
“Stronger muscles don’t need to expend as much energy to hit a certain pace, which means you can go faster for longer.
“Swimming has also been a good addition to my routine - I use the TAG Heuer Connected watch while I’m in the pool to track how well I’m performing, as it shows me my lap efficiency based on the speed of my stroke.
“If you want to work on endurance, speed or recovery, swimming is a great way to tick off all three.”
Sarah, training for the London Marathon
5. Do the little things well
“It’s the small things that make a real difference when it comes to running.
“Things like rest, recovery and hydration are what will make all the difference to your overall performance.
“You also need to maintain variety in your training if you want to keep it fun and engaging – that’s as important as aiming for bigger goals.
“When I started running I thought all the big things mattered, but over time I’ve realised it’s all the little things that piece the puzzle together.”
Katrina Hart – Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Paralympic bronze medallist and Saucony UK Ambassador
Ready to upgrade your running routine? With the London Marathon fast approaching, of which TAG Heuer is the Official Timekeeper, now is the time to take your training to the next level. The TAG Heuer Connected is the perfect smartwatch to help you do it, thanks to a brand new Wellness feature that enables users to stay fit, healthy and connected by tracking their biometrics during all their daily activities. With two daily goals and one weekly summary, the app motivates and helps you understand how each effort – no matter how small – benefits your body. Thanks to the fully interchangeable straps you can, for example, look business smart in a stainless steel band one minute and then be hitting the gym in a light blue rubber strap the next. You can discover all TAG Heuer Connected smartwatches, including the special Golf Edition smartwatch, online now.